While ‘selfie’ phones’ are a way to go for most OEMs, Oppo perhaps has a pertinent reason to indulge in it. In a recent Nielsen survey it took the No.1 spot in top of the mind awareness for ‘quick selfies’ with a 39% recall value. The said indulgence has prompted them to harness the properties of machine learning in a phone that they launched just the other day in India. It is for the very first time that Artificial Intelligence has been utilized to enhance any attribute of a mobile phone.
F5 utilizes a proprietary AI Beauty technology to make “the attractive ‘selfie’ more real” as Akash Gabhrani, Product Manager at Oppo mentioned during the presentation, adding that in doing so it helps “capture the real you”.
The AI Beauty technology takes help from a collated Global Portrait Database which comprises about two million plus portraits so selected to include maximum variations in age, gender and skin-tones. This portfolio which is also fortified with inputs from industry-experienced photographers and make-up artists creates a ready reference for the software to continuously learn, identify and improve upon the ‘selfies’ that are being shot. Not to stop there, the computing is further facilitated by 200 facial recognition spots crucial for a good face-picture like nose, cheeks or lower jaws and such. Furthermore there is a scene optimization module that learns from about 50 plus situations where ‘selfies’ are usually shot. In line with ‘face comes first’ mantra, the programme learns from variegated light – its temperature and colour-tone conditions. This database contains scenes from various places, occasions and time of day.
Gender distinction to deliver beauty is a major part of this exercise. For Women, it helps reduce blemishes and dark-circles while accounting for detailed facial and ocular characteristics. For men, the AI Beauty Technology maintains masculine features like stronger jaw-lines, facial-hair and such. Incidentally the AI is supposed to enhance the innocent mien of the kids as well.
In a demo which followed suit, Rohan Shrestha, an Indian born Nepalese who shuttles between Mumbai and New York, let us see the results of some head-shots. It took him a month to conceptualize these face-shots culled from Mumbai, Jaipur, Varanasi and Ladakh. It emerged that F5 could portray the ‘real you’, under any complex light conditions, be it under an imposing mid-day Ladakh sun or amidst a delicate late-night Varanasi-bank color schema.
The AI of course takes all the support it can from a 20MP front camera with an ultra-sensitive F2.0 aperture and 1/2.8” sensor and a 16MP rear camera with customized IMX 398 Sony sensor coupled with a F1.8 aperture. Both the cameras produce better images with less noise in low light conditions
It is also for the very first time that Oppo succumbs to the full-screen display fad. One gets to behold one’s vivid self in this full-HD (2160 X 1080 pixels) screen with 18:9 aspect ratio and 84.2% of screen-to-body ratio, which has been expanded to 6 inches. The face of this face-expert phone has been worked upon for about 18 months to accord it a slim and gracefully curvy unibody with a 0.4 laser string detailing the chassis. This captive multi-touch around 152 gm phone which provides for a good grip can also support gloved and wet touch inputs as well. The video mode is 1080p/720p.
All these would have come a cropper if not for the smooth handling experiences extended by the Color OS 3.2. The Octa-core CPU processor with 4G RAM + 32 GB ROM memory in its standard device can perform 40% faster than its previous OS and can launch apps 23.9 % more quickly. One can even work on multiple apps simultaneously on the split-screen. A faster processor also means that one can transfer data between two F5s at high-speeds –t 100 times faster than Bluetooth. Consuming low energy, the processor ensures that the phone does not heat up due to heavy-duty usage.
Though the emphasis is obviously on the camera, gamers’ jam has been considered too. To the delight of those hard-core couch-adventurers, the phone can go into a ‘Do not disturb’ mode. The 3200 mAh battery with 12 hours of continuous can certainly withstand the onslaught that the phones nowadays are subjected to.
The most interesting touch incidental on the phone is a well thought facial unlock feature. Apart from the fingerprint scan, password, pattern-draw, the phone can be unlocked in just 0.4 seconds by a smiling face!
F5 has a Triple-slot card tray for expansive storage – the dual nano-SIM (GSM + GSM) can be expandable upto 256 GB via a microSD card. This phone is fitted with Distance Sensor, Light Sensor, G-sensor, E-compass and include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, FM, 3G and 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India) as connectivity options.
Along with F5 another variant was also launched – the F5 6GB (6 RAM + 64 ROM). The former is priced at 19,990 INR and comes in Black and Gold casings, the later priced at 24,990 INR have Black and Red as color options.
The pre-order window is till this 8th and the sale commences the very next day.
Handling the device in the experience zone, it felt that using AI is certainly a smart move for a smart phone.